The Ricci Experience


After being in China for one full week, and with just over a week to go, the learning continues. Students began the seventh day of the trip with a religion quiz and a history test. They stayed in the classroom for a guest lecture by a Vietnamese Jesuit, Francis Nguyen. Brother Francis discussed the fascinating history of the Jesuits in China:

The day of religion and philosophy continued with an afternoon field trip to the Yonghegong Buddhist temple:

Right across the street is the Confucius temple, which celebrated the intellectual achievement of China's foremost scholars from 1402 on. Here's a photo of the group with a statue of Confucius:

On the eighth day, students learned about the Qing dynasty—the end of China's imperial era—both in and out of the classroom. After attending classes about the Qing dynasty in the morning, the group visited the quintessential Qing site, the Summer Palace:

"Beyond being interesting sites to see, we hope these kinds of experiences inspire curiosity about China," said Mr. Marana. "This intellectual curiosity is at the heart of the students' research papers." Students are researching and writing about topics of their own interest, ranging from the economics of Chinese socialism to the the portrayal of bodhisattvas (Buddhist saints) in medieval Chinese art. The library at The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies has been an invaluable source of information for the group:

Many of the more memorable adventures, however, continue to be with food. Here, students try spicy chicken with noodles:

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